CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WCIA) — She fled from a war-torn country more than 50 years ago, and since then she’s helped hundreds of refugees find a home and a job in Central Illinois. The story of Tam Wei’s life is one she literally wrote a book about.
“I’m old enough that they listen to me so I take advantage of my age,” explained Wei.
Wei got to America from Vietnam more than 50 years ago so she started her own refugee center in Central Illinois.
“One of my nieces from my brother escaped but they never found her. One thing good with our successful refugees Is I insist that they have some education learning English for 6 months before we went out to find work for them,” added Wei.
A resident at Clark Lindsey senior living in Champaign, Wei, now 97, is still giving back to refugees. Two afghan refugees now work in the kitchen
“I really enjoy working here, the people here I found very welcoming,” said one refugee from Afghanistan who left during the U.S. withdraw and requested to remain anonymous.
“I came here last year so at first, we were a little bit worried and it was a little bit difficult leaving our home country,” added the refugee.
Now thanks to Wei’s work two different refugees from Afghanistan are working at Clark Lindsay.
“Now I am working in a company where that lady who founded the refugee center is here,” exclaimed the refugee.
A testament to a woman and a mission that can be summed up in one word.
“Amazing, it’s amazing,” added Wei.
All these years later Wei’s work is still paying off and Clark Lindsay is taking steps to expand their refugee program.